Breast cancer is a common type of cancer, especially in women. Like any form of cancer, it has different stages, and catching breast cancer at an early stage is paramount for treatment. If you would like to know more about breast cancer treatment, keep reading.
Stage I is the earliest stage of breast cancer, and during this time, the cancer is still small. It is contained within the breast, but it may have spread to the nearest lymph node. At this stage, the surgeon may be able to perform a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous tumor. This is often known as breast-conserving surgery because it leaves behind most breast tissue and only addresses the tumor. In rare case, a mastectomy is needed.
If you do choose breast-conserving surgery, you may need radiation treatment after surgery to kill off any remaining cancer cells. This reduces the risk of the cancer returning. In some cases, your doctor may also recommend some chemotherapy to kill off residual cancer cells. Hormone therapy may also be used if progesterone/estrogen caused the tumors.
At stage II, the tumor is usually larger than at stage I, but it is still contained within the breast. It may have also spread to more nearby lymph nodes. For this reason, treatment is like treatment at state I, but there may be a higher risk of needing a mastectomy.
However, because the tumor is larger, the doctor may recommend some treatments before surgery to shrink the tumor. This can make surgery easier, and it may reduce the risk of needed a mastectomy.
By stage III, the tumor is even larger, and it may have grown into nearby tissues or multiple nearby lymph nodes. In women with larger breasts, it may be harder for the tumor to grow into nearby tissue. In nearly every state III case, a patient starts with chemotherapy to reduce the cancer.
Usually, the doctor also performs surgery to remove remaining cancerous cells. At this stage, a mastectomy is common, and the nearby lymph nodes also need to be removed incase the are storing cancer cells that could later be sent to the rest of the body. After surgery, further treatments are usually needed to ensure every cancer cell is dead.
At stage IV, the cancer has metastasized (spread) to multiple parts of the body, including areas that are not directly next to the breast tissue, such as the lungs, the liver, and bones. At this point, the cancer is throughout the body, so surgery isn't usually a viable treatment.
Instead, the doctor uses systemic treatments to help slow the cancer growth. These include hormone therapy, chemotherapy, targeted drugs, and immunotherapy. Surgery may be needed if a tumor is causing specific problems like pain or it's pressing on the spinal cord.
Breast cancer is common, but it doesn't mean you have to accept it. There are many treatment options, but treatment depends on the stage of your cancer. If you are ready to begin treatment or want to know more, contact a cancer treatment provider in your area today.Share
29 June 2022
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